There are a lot of exciting youngsters coming up through the standard feeder series, but not every great talent ends up on the path to F1. Whether they were overlooked in their youth, chose a different type of racing, or simply ran out of money, these are all drivers who aren't on the cards to compete in F1 - but who we'd love to see there anyway.
5 – Kyle Busch, NASCAR
Busch may be a polarising figure in NASCAR circles, with a number of controversial incidents clouding his achievements, but the 29-year-old American could never stand accused of being slow. After making his debut in the third-tier of the sport aged just 16, he has won just about everything apart from the Sprint Cup on his way to the top as both an elite driver and team owner. Equally at home on road courses as he is on ovals, Busch's mixture of finesse with racing lines and take-no-prisoners attitude means he'd be an intriguing prospect in an F1 car. You'd have to be a brave driver to play chicken with him heading up Eau Rouge!
4 – Robert Wickens, DTM
Canadian driver Wickens has already had a roller-coaster career despite only being 25. At one time he looked a cert for an F1 drive, winning the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 title and testing for Marussia that same year, but a lack of funding and opportunities meant that he never got his shot. The former Red Bull junior has spent the last few years in DTM, where he's picked up four podiums including two wins in a very competitive field, highlighted by a series of masterful wet drives. Although his chance at F1 appears to have come and gone, Wickens is certainly proving in a tin-top that he'd be an asset to any grand prix team willing to take a chance.
3 – Carlos Munoz, IndyCar
He may not have had a headline-grabbing season, but 22-year-old Munoz has certainly been the best rookie of 2014. Following his explosive debut at last year's Indy 500 where he drove brilliantly to finish second, the Colombian has become a regular fixture in IndyCar's top 10 during his first full term. Although he has yet to win, the consistency he's shown has rewarded him with three podiums and 9th place in the championship, ahead of veterans like Ryan Briscoe and James Hinchcliffe. His racecraft and ability to stay out of trouble in what is the most volatile single-seater series in the world mean that he could help any F1 team bring home big points.
2 – Jamie Whincup, V8 Supercars
If F1 has Michael Schumacher, MotoGP has Valentino Rossi, and NASCAR has Dale Earnhardt, then V8 Supercars have Jamie Whincup. The 31-year-old Australian has five titles to his name, and is on course to win his sixth – and fourth in a row – in 2014. Add to this his four wins at the iconic Bathurst 1000 endurance race, and you've got an idea of just how dominant Whincup has been in recent years.
One can only hope that with precious little competition left in the V8s series, Whincup will begin to look for drives elsewhere. Although a DTM or Le Mans programme might be a more obvious choice for his skill-set, if Whincup looked to move on then a driver with his reputation, record, and pace is more than deserving of a shot in F1.
1 – Marc Marquez, MotoGP
Many of you will know that Mr. Marquez races motorbikes rather than cars. However, that does not mean that the most exciting competitor in world motorsport shouldn't be on F1's radar.
Among the more famous converts from two wheels to four are 1964 F1 Champion John Surtees and 1996 title-winner Damon Hill. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi regularly tested for Ferrari from 2005, and there was huge interest in seeing the Italian drive for the famous Prancing Horse.
To understand how amazing Marquez's achievements have been in MotoGP you only need to look at the statistics: champion in his debut year, podium finishes at 26 of his 29 career races, and 16 wins, giving him an incredible 55% winning record. To put that into context, Michael Schumacher's F1 winning record is 30% (and only goes up to 35% if you discount his unfruitful return to F1).
But statistics don't take into account the brilliance of Marquez. At only 21 years old, the Spaniard has revolutionised the sport, bringing a unique riding style which has left the old guard defenceless. Add to that his bravery and showmanship, and you have all the makings for a once-in-a-generation star.
Nobody is suggesting that a move to F1 is imminent for Marquez, as his passion for two wheels is still burning as bright as ever, but who knows what the future might bring. It may be that a continued spell of dominance leaves him looking elsewhere for a challenge, or injuries mean that he is no longer willing to take risks on two wheels.
Either way, with racers of Marquez's talent, it doesn't matter what they're driving or riding; put him near an F1 car and he'd be instantly competitive. You can be sure that the moment he makes a squeak about wanting to try racing something new, F1 teams will be lining up to give him his shot.